tapdcEven at the height of DC’s water quality concerns, Washingtonians were never really in danger of having to go without…it was just a matter of how long we needed to boil what was coming out of the tap before we could actually drink it.  UNICEF’s World Water Week seeks to address far more serious water-access issues in more than 90 countries around the world.

And you can help.

This week, almost 100 Washington-area restaurants are participating in this year’s version of the Tap Project.  From now through Saturday night, when you dine in these establishments you’ll receive a donation card with your bill at the end of the meal.  Any contribution you wish to make will be added to your bill and that amount will be donated to UNICEF’s clean water programs.

Tap DC, the local organization spearheading the effort, encourages diners to think of it as paying for the complimentary water we take for granted when we dine out, and they point out that a single dollar can help to provide clean, safe drinking water for a child for 40 days.  If you prefer sparkling water with your meal, consider making a donation equal to the price of that Pellegrino and you’ll be helping even more people!

How to get involved after the jump.

Glass art from TapDC.org by Jim from Washington, DC

Glass art from TapDC.org by Jim from Washington, DC

The easiest way to get involved in this year’s Tap Project is to eat at one of the participating restaurants this week (it would almost be harder to find a restaurant that isn’t participating).  Check out the list of participating restaurants here, and then make a reservation through OpenTable.

But there are other ways to help out, as well.  You can contribute online, through the Tap Project’s website.  You can contribute $5 via text message – just send the word “TAP” to 864233 (UNICEF) and you’ll be charged automatically through your wireless provider.

And tonight from 6 to 9 PM you can attend Tap DC’s “Something Beautiful” Gallery Opening and Reception at Pepco’s Edison Place Gallery (located at 702 8th Street, NW, around the corner from Proof).  In keeping with their theme – “Turn a Glass of Water into Something Beautiful” – Tap DC is presenting a gallery of artwork that includes drawings, sculptures, video and music.  H Street fixtures Dissident Display will be offering up a live performance, as will water harpist Jamey Turner.  Artwork will be available for purchase via silent auction.

Whether you stop by the gallery opening tonight or simply make it a point to add a few bucks to your bill when you dine out this week, you can feel good knowing that your ice cold glass of “DC’s finest” is helping to provide young people with clean, safe water all over the world.  That’s something we can all drink to.